The Crow Flies launches


The Crow Flies is a new marketing consultancy based in the Midlands. The company focuses on categories and brands, specialising in market research, strategy, innovation and planning.

“Our ambition is to become one of the go to marketing consultancies in the Midlands for strategic marketing services” said founder, David Preston. “It seems strange that the West Midlands in particular doesn’t have as vibrant a creative & strategy industry as London or indeed, other big cities. We wanted to offer an alternative to clients looking for closer proximity to them or not wanting to be reliant on a advertising agency planning team”.

Preston, who was Marketing Director at Molson Coors in Burton on Trent and more recently a Board Director at London based brand agency Elephants Can’t Jump, adds that unusually, the focus of The Crow Flies is not just on brands. “We’re very interested in the growing discipline of category marketing”, said Preston. “If you are a retailer, the category is your priority, but it should be as a brand owner too – after all, growth is much easier if you have the wind in your sales. We are very cognisant of building the new skills required to help brands thrive in the tough economic times we are in and the tough competitive times”, he added.

“We’re also interested in maps and mapping as a way of thinking of categories and brands” stated Preston. “Many metaphors are used in brand building but most are focused on ‘where next’. We believe maps are more useful because they underline the importance of stewardship. On a map, you can see the marks of the past, as well as the terrain today and the two combined allows you to plot the most direct route to success. The parallel for a brand is clear: spend more time working out what has made you successful and use that as inspiration for where you go next: we’re convinced it could save clients a lot of time and a lot of money – but funnily enough, it takes a brave person to grasp it.

At The Crow Flies, Preston is supported by a team (or ‘flock’ as he calls it) of highly experienced marketing and business colleagues. “At the start at least, we’re a boutique business. That means the quality of our service, our thinking and our impact is everything and in turn that means there are just a few of us. So having a team who are highly experienced, both on client side and with consultancy was crucial for us. I’m really pleased with the balance of the flock.”

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David Preston is Founder of The Crow Flies and can be contacted at and

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